St. Valentine

Death of Samantha Porn in the USA 7″

Although too many bands get compared to the BIRTHDAY PARTY/NICK CAVE these days, here you have to make that analogy again. There are these great, loopy, tribal rhythms and general trashiness that begs for the comparison. I like this record.

My Dad Is Dead …And He’s Not Going to Take It Anymore LP

Basically this is a one man show by a guy named Mark Edwards who had drummed with a number of Cleveland punk and garage bands. Normally I tend to hate these one-man solo albums but this is a kicker. If you’ve ever heard bootlegs of very early JOY DIVISION before they discovered the recording studio, then you have an idea of what this sounds like. Rough, murky guitar sounds with great shitty production.

Offbeats I Can See Your House From Here EP

Good production really helps sometimes, and it’s nice to finally really hear this band. All four songs, whether thrash or punk, feature plenty of melody and musicianship, making for hot listening. Really like “Sad.”

Offbeats Out of Breath / Don’t Take My Advice 7″

Hard to believe this is the same band as on their pair of EPs (but it largely is). They began as a garage thrash band, moved to a more melodic style of the same genre by their second release, but on the two tunes here they’ve gone way poppier. The A-side is pretty straight pop, while the flip has a bit more garage to it. Can’t say I fully appreciate these changes.

The Mice Scooter LP

Less overtly “punk” than their debut 12″, this album contains ten pop-punky tunes with the emphasis on the pop, in a style reminiscent of the early SHOES. Undeniably catchy, this record is best when guitars take precedence, but there’s still a good deal here for fans of cool pop music — though the style does wear thin after a while.

The Reactions Tomorrow’s Time Today / Blue Beyond 7″

From the opening jangle of “Tomorrow’s…” guitars, it’s clear that this trio has been influenced by the BYRDS. Both songs here have sad, melodic vocals and real cool double-tracked psychedelic guitar, and I like them a lot. These guys might get wimpy in a 24-track studio, but the garage production on this 45 provides an appealingly rough edge.